Every week, the MarXiv Team selects papers shared in the MarXiv repository to summarize for managers and policymakers. Share your research in MarXiv now and we may summarize your paper, too!

Join the MarXiv Summaries newsletter to receive monthly email updates of new summaries!

Conservation targets might be reducing trust in MPA planning

Surveys of northern California-based fishermen indicate that there is a relationship between the trust fishermen have in groups like managers and researchers, and their satisfaction with the outcomes of an MPA planning process. Low levels of trust with managers were tied to low levels of satisfaction with the MPA planning process. Conservation targets may be an impediment for building that trust.

Priority conservation areas of the Coral Triangle

With an enormous, largely unprotected ocean, it’s useful to identify areas of the most conservation importance. The authors looked at the Coral Triangle to determine which areas therein should be prioritized for conservation.

Lessons in building community support for no-take MPAs from the Mexican Caribbean

Building trust between fishers and managers is key for management actions, including for marine protected areas (MPAs). Governments seeking to establish trust should have strong enforcement of regulations as observing illegal fishing reduces trust. Managers themselves are more trusted if they have worked with the fishing community for a long time, frequently visit fishing communities, explain management actions simply and clearly, and provide educational and training opportunities for fishers like citizen science monitoring campaigns.

Metaphors for marine conservation and management: The good, the bad, and the inaccurate

A new paper in Marine Policy discusses the importance of effective metaphors for marine conservation and policy. Metaphors are figures of speech that describe something in terms more familiar to listeners, e.g., “a blanket of snow”. Good metaphors help shape understanding of something and can mobilize appropriate action. Poorly-chosen metaphors are, at best, ineffective at mobilizing support for the intended cause, and, at worst, counterproductive because they lead to oppositional behaviors or decrease the credibility of the messenger.

Social capital in fisheries governance

Fishing policies are typically based on a mix of ecology and economics. It is assumed that fishers will act in line with those considerations. However, that assumption fails to consider the important social and cultural contexts in which fishers operate, and as a result may limit the policies’ effectiveness. It is important that regulations recognize and build upon the often unwritten rules and norms of fisher culture in order to secure community support.

Measuring the willingness of dive tourists to pay fishers not to fish in a no-take zone

Ecosystems provide an array of direct and indirect services to human populations. In tropical marine areas, such ecosystem services often include food provision (i.e., fishing) and ecotourism (i.e., diving). In cases where there are conflicts between these services – such as where fishers want to fish but divers want to see abundant, biodiverse ecosystems – examining the economics of various alternative policy solutions may be useful.

How to use social media for fisheries science and management professionals

While conservation scientists often use social media to engage the public and collaborate on scientific endeavors, fisheries scientists and managers are less represented online. In this paper, the author explains some key benefits and methods for using social media to encourage others to join the conversation.

Utilizing existing legal frameworks to implement fisheries management in the arctic

As climate change contributes to accelerated melting of sea ice in the Arctic Ocean, areas that were previously off-limits to fishing will become accessible. While there are currently no internationally-agreed fishing regulations in the high seas of the Arctic, there is an effective moratorium on commercial fishing thanks to the non-binding “Oslo Declaration” (Declaration concerning the Prevention of Unregulated High Seas Fishing in the Central Arctic Ocean, from July 2015). The author investigates existing legal mechanisms which could be used to regulate an international Arctic fishery should commercial fishing begin.

Fully protected MPAs can reduce patchiness of target species

Marine protected areas (MPAs) are often used to protect patches of habitat that support species targeted for protection. Ideally, these protected habits should be well-connected so that protected species can flow from one MPA to its neighbors. β-diversity has been proposed as a way to measure this connectivity by examining the distribution of species within a defined area. High β-diversity indicates more species diversity and a more uniform spatial distribution of species, making these areas more resilient. Low β-diversity can indicate that species are distributed in a more “patchy” manner or where communities are dominated by just a few species.

Taking home-ranges into account for Mediterranean MPAs could offer increased recovery benefits

Marine protected areas (MPAs) are a common fisheries management tool that relies on the assumption that species protected within a spatially-explicit area are allowed to recover and later “spill over” the boundaries of the MPA where they may be harvested. By fully protecting an MPA, species inside will grow and reproduce a steady supply of “spilled over” fish to be harvested. But how large of an area should you protect at a minimum to offer this benefit?